Amnet & Rubicon Q&A

Automated guaranteed is great for advertisers who want to leverage the benefits of automation to secure premium inventory at scale. Rubicon Project’s Guaranteed Orders product helps Amnet buyers deliver on that promise on behalf of Dentsu Aegis clients.

Justine Watkins, Managing Director for Amnet US, recently chatted with Mari Kim Novak, Chief Marketing Officer of Rubicon Project, about the product, and how she sees Amnet stacking up against the competition.

Justine Watkins: What would you say has been the biggest success story of your relationship with Amnet to date?

Mari Kim Novak: I’d definitely say it’s your adoption of Guaranteed Orders. In fact, Amnet is the largest Guaranteed Orders buyer on our entire platform.

This is significant because Guaranteed Orders represents a true evolution in automated buying. It allows for easy discovery of the most premium buying opportunities with sellers, and then powers the RFP process and negotiations with those sellers.

Many practitioners in our industry still assume that machine-aided buying can only be applied to the portion of impressions that are bought and sold on exchanges. But evolved buyers understand better – that their guaranteed buying strategies can benefit from a technology and automation layer. And we’ve seen few partners more evolved in this way than Amnet is.

Justine Watkins: What specific opportunities do Amnet’s adoption of guaranteed buying present for the DAN agencies?

Mari Kim Novak: We talk a lot about the efficiencies that automation adds to the guaranteed buying process. To some people, this might not sound like the most exciting benefit, but the professionals who manage buys know that saving time and effort, and minimizing errors, confers significant benefits on the teams that do this work.

But over and above that, automation also presents additional opportunities to boost guaranteed buys, particularly in terms of getting the insights and analytics that can make for smarter and more effective guaranteed campaigns in future buying cycles.

Justine Watkins: Agreed. Along with the efficiencies that you spoke to, we find that Amnet running automated guaranteed inventory opens the door for DAN clients to really leverage their buying power. We can negotiate pricing agreements with publishers based on a client’s overall volume of media spend and then in turn, report back to the client on the exact properties and placements that were negotiated.

Mari Kim Novak: What a great use of the platform, and I think it goes to the many ways in which automation can be customized to a particular buyer’s use case. I can’t think of any endemic qualities buyers bring to the table – data, buying power, creativity, you name it – that adding automation to the equation won’t boost.

Justine Watkins: Now that we’ve touched on what Amnet is doing well in the automated guaranteed space, how can we further leverage Rubicon’s Guaranteed Orders for our clients?

Mari Kim Novak: One of the biggest opportunities we’ve seen is to use Guaranteed Orders as a gateway to increasing video buying. Because Amnet is already working with us to power guaranteed buys, it isn’t a far leap at all for you to further leverage our video capabilities on behalf of your advertisers.

Mari Kim Novak (cont.): Through Rubicon’s exclusive partnership with Virool, we now power an innovative new inline video unit that enables our publishing partners to offer video inventory – and to guarantee viewability against it – without having to ramp their video content. Essentially, your favorite publishers can almost instantly deliver quality video inventory at scale through this partnership. This presents a great opportunity for advertisers to run guaranteed videos buys with existing publishing partners, and to get set up and ramped up on that inventory incredibly fast.

And of course, we power tried-and-true video digital video units, including pre-roll and interstitial units. Coming soon, we’ll also be offering native video for mobile apps and the mobile web.

As a company, Rubicon Project’s goal is to empower our partners to be ever more user-centric in their digital advertising strategies on behalf of their clients. Nearly two-thirds of the U.S. population will watch digital videos in 2015, and native ads are predicted to significantly increase in popularity in the next three years. If consumers are watching video, and if native will be the experience of choice for those consumers, advertisers should be right there with them.

Justine Watkins: Looking toward the future, what are Rubicon’s thoughts on how Guaranteed Orders will evolve as the industry places more and more emphasis on audience buying and automation?

Mari Kim Novak: Rubicon Project is committed to automating all of advertising. That is our goal because we’ve already seen just how much automation has enhanced the channels and units to which we’ve applied it to-date.

So in a nutshell, Guaranteed Orders will evolve to encompass ever more digital advertising units, and will be applicable to a broader array of highly creative executions.

I should add that in order to take advantage of these innovations as they come online, our partners will need to continue evolving with us. We want partners like Amnet to lean into their relationship with Rubicon Project to further scale into existing offerings like Guaranteed Orders, mobile, and video. But we also want you to leverage our relationship on behalf of your clients in order to be positioned for the as-yet-unforeseen opportunities that we’ll continue to power in the coming years. As a marketplace, it is Rubicon’s job to be the technology layer that provides access to the most innovative units and buying methods available in our space.

We recently conducted comprehensive research into how buyers view the automation landscape. What we found is that a feeling of confidence and empowerment in the buying process made media buyers more likely to push hard into the most innovative areas of automation, and to make bolder and more creative decisions about their buys.

Amnet has been among the boldest and most creative of any of our partners. Your constant push for innovation and thought leadership inspire us to further develop our platform and product offering so you can continue to provide first-to-market, cutting edge solutions for your clients.